Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ajani Hassan Babatunde, an Economics undergraduate of Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, is a student with a difference. He effortlessly combines academics with music such that one does not adversely affect the other.
Fondly called Haaj Silver by friends, Babatunde, who had his elementary education at George and Duke and secondary at Oritamefa Baptist Model School (OBMS), Ibadan, reveals in this chat how he’ll use his music to fight taking of hard drugs.
What actually prompted you into music?
One, I have the talent and everything started when I was in secondary school. I remember my friends and I would sing Wizkid’s ‘Holla at Your Boy’. His music inspired me. Then, I would take Wizkid’s song and form my own song out of it, and as time went on. I was able to put down my own lyrics, my own music. Now, I’m into it fully.
What gives you inspiration?
Artistes like Wizkid, Olamide and Davido, who drop hits like three times in a month, inspire me that, if I want to be like them or even better, I should be ready to work hard.
How have you been combining music with academics?
My music and academics don’t clash because I have a manager who takes care of everything. The only thing I do is to record my music and go for shows and interviews. Most times, my interviewers wait till I come back from school and my shows are mostly on weekends. I leave schools by weekends. So, my education and music are moving on smoothly, I’m balancing up the two.
Before music set in, what was your ambition?
I’ve always had that dream of been a footballer. But I have talent in music. So, I find it very easy to sing than playing football. I’m not ready to do the waking up by 8 o’clock to go to the office, but I’ll have my certificate.
What do you think makes you unique or different from others?
My voice, lyrics and capability of doing any style of music make me different. My capability of putting down good music, not just recording any style of music, makes me unique. I’m also a type of artiste that records an album in a month.
What impact do you want your music to make in the society?
Something I see about music and entertainment generally is that the world mostly pays attention to celebrities. With that, if I can capture their hearts, I can use that to influence the public positively, like doing music to discourage taking of hard drugs. I really want to fight that, because I don’t take drugs… I don’t believe in drugs, I don’t do it. One of the reasons I don’t believe in drugs is that it makes one lose focus. You will believe in wrong things when you take the wrong thing.
If you don’t take alcohol or smoke, what then enhances your performance on stage?
My talent. Music is in me. I don’t believe in taking all these things before I write lyrics or sing. I do music naturally.
What was the reaction of your parents when you decided to go into music?
When I started music in secondary school, my dad was against it. But when I got to the university, I was surprised when my dad decided to support me. He said ‘if there’s no one to put money down for me to do my music, I can be influenced by people around me to do ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ and the likes’. So, he decided to support my music financially, and he has been doing that. I think my parents are happy with my music. My education is also going on well, there’s no disturbance. It is balanced.
How many tracks have you dropped so far?
I have dropped six tracks. To me, I feel that’s not the best I can do for the world. I’m looking forward to dropping new hits, better hits with what I’ve done. That’s just 60 per cent of what Haaj Silver is capable of.
Which of the six songs do you prefer the most, and what is the message?
My first recording was ‘Pretty Girl’ followed by ‘Juru’. I have also recorded ‘Beeni’, and ‘Mujo’ as well as ‘Overload’. They are all in my EP, SOB and I’m working on new tracks. I’ve recorded three already. Within three months, I’ve recorded nine tracks.
I wrote all my songs but the song that I think has the biggest message to the world has not been released. It’s titled ‘Jeje Laye’. It’s like highlife. That’s still the best. It talks about what we are experiencing right now, it’s like everybody is into ‘Slay Mama’ and ‘G-guys’. The world now is turning into something else. Everyone wants to make money and be rich. Everyone wants to buy the latest car. Everyone wants to wear the latest clothes. But life is beyond that.